Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Interesting 'Nuggets'...

The 'nuggets' I've heard aren't all completely verified, but I'm working on tying some of it together:

1. Before the trial is set to start, prosecutors are going to take another run at Cuadra and Kerekes for a plea bargain - guilty pleas in exchange for life in prison. Prosecutors don't want Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes coming to them in the late stages of a costly trial, asking for mercy and a plea bargain when it appears they are headed for a conviction and the death penalty.

2. The trial is expected to cost in excess of $125,000-$250,000. That's an estimate based on past large-scale trials (the folks I spoke to weren't too specific). Think about it, though. Flying in all of the witnesses and paying for their accommodations and meals, utilizing the experts and evidence analysis, plus the amount of time prosecutors and investigators must devote to the case.

3. The prosecution bill does not include investigatory costs, such as the seven trips to Virginia Beach made by Pennsylvania State Police, the Black's Beach undercover operation, etc. (Speaking of which, apparently one of the theories about how the nude beach conversation was recorded included the use of a Naval destroyer and an AWACS plane).

4. The focus of any penalty phase in the case would center on the two Dallas Township firefighters, who nearly died fighting the fire that Cuadra and Kerekes allegedly set at Bryan Kocis' home after the murder. This allows prosecutors to minimize the flaws in Kocis' character, including his ties to pornography and his previous brush with the law, while accentuating the threat to firefighters in a substantially more sensitive post-9/11 environment.

5. Unless they're hiding something, prosecutors seem to be convinced Grant Roy and Sean Lockhart were not involved in the Kocis killing. They point to Cuadra and Kerekes exculpating Roy and Lockhart in the Crab Catchers' and Black's Beach tapes. One of the prosecutor's even argued that in those six hours of tape, there was ample opportunity for Cuadra and Kerekes to implicate Roy and Lockhart, but they never took advantage.